Beans, beans are good for your heart -- and that's not just part of a song; it is the truth. Kidney beans provide your body with many of the building blocks you need to maintain good health. Kidney beans also have specific benefits for your heart and digestive health. They are a cheap and convenient way to improve your diet and your health.
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Kidney beans are a good source of fiber, providing 6 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fiber comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble, and kidney beans provide both. Soluble fiber helps reduce the amount of cholesterol you absorb from food, and insoluble fiber provides necessary bulk for good digestive health and bowel movements, notes the MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. The CDC recommends that you drink more fluids when you start to consume more kidney beans or other legumes, to help your digestive track properly utilize the additional fiber.
Vitamins and Minerals
Kidney beans are an excellent source of iron and provide vitamin C and vitamin A, among other nutrients your body needs for overall health. They also provide folate, which is important for good heart health, according to the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension. Folate is especially important for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant since receiving adequate amounts of folate during pregnancy lowers the risk of certain birth defects.
Kidney beans are a good source of protein, but the type of protein they provide is incomplete, reports the CDC. It is important to also include whole grains in your diet because the type of protein in whole grains forms a complete protein when combined with the protein from kidney beans and other legumes. This source of protein is particularly good for you because it doesn't have the saturated fats and cholesterol that many other protein sources contain, such as red meats. This gives your heart health another healthy boost from kidney beans.